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Career pathways in viticulture
The growth of the Australian wine industry in recent years is a success story with Australia earning international recognition for technological excellence in wine making, product development and marketing.
A career in viticulture can be challenging and most rewarding, as this is where good wine starts. Different viticulture methods produce different qualities of grapes and therefore different styles of wines. Australian-trained winemakers are sought after around the world and the many large companies making wine can offer substantial wages and exciting career paths.
The sector also produces high quality eating grapes which are enjoyed either fresh or dried – sultanas, raisins, currants.
There are great employment and career opportunities in the sector for grape pickers and vineyard hands through to supervisors and viticulturists.
Jobs and qualifications
Assistant farmhands are usually the first step in a career in the viticulture industry. Under direct supervision you would carry out planting and pruning vines and picking grapes and basic post harvest processes such as grading and sorting.
The production horticulture farmhand is likely to be involved in a wide range of growing and harvesting tasks under limited supervision. Tasks include operating tractors and equipment, irrigation activities, establishing and maintaining vines and treating weeds, pests and diseases.
The production horticulture tradesperson is responsible for a number of workers and planting, growing and harvesting activities. These include preparing soils for planting, vine plantings and maintenance, coordinating harvesting and and supervising work site activities.
The production horticulture supervisor will have significant responsibilities for managing planting, growing and harvesting activities. This includes developing wine nutrition programs, supervising staff, machinery and supplies and operating within budgets.
A viticulture manager is likely to have significant responsibilities in managing vineyard activities including. This will include property planning and management, crop management and production, staff management and business planning and operations.
The production horticulture business manager has the primary responsibility for ensuring the vineyard enterprise is successfully managed. Responsibilities include business planning, managing people, physical resources and business capital and marketing and promotion.